“You guys both know talking is just talking. The fight is what matters. I’m just having fun keeping it real. I wasn’t talking trash. I was talking the truth. I wasn’t making anything up… I know he’s just not that bright. He’s not the sharpest tool. He’s kind of a meat-head jock. He didn’t want to talk. I told him ‘I don’t want to be here looking at your ugly face either so you might as well talk.’ He said ‘I’m here to fight.’ I told him, ‘No, we’re here to talk. Why else are we here?’ It blew my mind… I look at the tests he’s had to build him as a champion that makes him who he is and the things I’ve done make me relevant. The titles I’ve fought for and things I’ve faced make me who I am. Fighting Joe Soto on two hours’ notice. Fighting Barao, who’s stationary opponent tailor made for a moving opponent. I’ve faced fast-moving targets who are still very relevant in the sport today. Those are the guys I’ve faced… I’ve defended the title on the biggest fights in the world so many times. I know what’s expected of me. I’ve over-prepared for this just like I’ve over-prepared my body for everything. I’ve done everything I possibly can do to be physically ready to beat down T.J. Dillashaw and I plan to do that with confidence.”
-Dominick Cruz talks to UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1 and explains the awkward face to face interaction with T.J. Dillashaw from UFC Ultimate Insiders, and why he’s going to take that title back on Jan. 17 at UFC Fight Night 81.
Penick’s Analysis: Dillashaw was clearly out of his element in that head to head, and wasn’t comfortable trying to trade words with Cruz. That doesn’t necessarily mean a thing about the fight, because Dillashaw’s very much a competitor who gets his message across in the cage. Cruz is extremely analytical, he’s very smart, and he has an edge on this whole “breaking down the fight” thing compared to Dillashaw. It still comes down to him doing what he believes he needs to do in the cage itself on Jan. 17. The knowledge of what gameplan is necessary and actually accomplishing that goal can be two different things, and Dillashaw’s going to be trying to take him out in his own way by any means necessary.
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